Dear fellow humanitarians and MindSeters,
In this challenging time of Coronavirus, we face fear, uncertainty, emotional and geographical distance, isolation, disease, and an overwhelming influx of information. We can no longer rely on our comforting routines, and are forced to construct new habits to adapt to this changing reality. A locked-down world is painfully trying to combat an invisible yet hideous shadow constantly lingering over our heads. Yes, we are in a crisis.
Yet, despite this unsettling reality, we are witnessing a surge of inspiring community coping mechanisms and good practices everywhere. We are discovering ways to band together, tapping into our inner strengths, and harnessing every known asset in new and creative ways.
We see neighbors delivering boxes of food to families in distress in their communities. We observe the blooming of online communication platforms once solely used for sporadic virtual work meetings, and now transformed into regular community support groups. We learn about young start-ups donating handwashing technologies to prevent or mitigate the spread of the virus in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Private-public partnerships are rapidly blossoming to effectively address the threat together. The list is reassuringly long.
These are the very strengths, positive coping mechanisms, motivational practices we want to highlight and share in the times of COVID-19 and beyond – as humanitarian humans and community members.
In the humanitarian sector, we define resilience as the ability to cope with shocks and stresses, and to adapt and learn to live with changes and uncertainty. Specifically, resilience can help build the capacity of individuals, communities and systems to effectively prepare and respond to crises, recover quickly and reach long-term solutions to meaningfully reduce risks, vulnerabilities and eventually needs.
As such, are pleased to launch our humanitarian blog ‘Mind the Gap’ for Humanitarians Moving Forward to feature the creative and innovative ideas, analysis and solutions of Mindset-PCS’s inspiring advisors and partners. Through this humanitarian community platform, we want to:
- 1. Share humanitarian global best practices – exploring how individuals, communities, organizations, and companies are reducing risks and vulnerabilities worldwide.
- 2. Emphasize the inspiring resilience of individuals and communities affected by crisis globally – highlighting needs, gaps but also assets, opportunities and the beauty out there.
- 3. Promote innovative and creative ideas to improve the way we conceptualize and implement humanitarian and development work.
So, what can we look forward to on “Mind the Gap” blog?
We are extremely privileged to work with an amazing community of practitioners all around the world. We want to hear from them about some of our favorite inter-connected topics, such as: gender; individual/community/systemic resilience; climate change, mitigation and adaptation; sustainable livelihoods, humanitarian-development nexus; innovation and technologies; community engagement and leadership; and protection mainstreaming.
The month of April will be devoted to COVID-19-related topics. In the upcoming weeks, we will hear about:
- 1. Resilience – It’s not just a buzz word: lessons learned from COVID-19’s community-based responses around the globe (by co-managing director, Ophelie Namiech, senior advisor in humanitarian-development nexus).
- 2. Infection prevention and control: challenges and coping mechanisms in rural South Sudan – from public health advisor, Herbert Male, in South Sudan (Former Task force lead for Ebola preparedness).
- 3. COVID-19: Increased risks of Gender-Based Violence and what needs to be done (Masumi Yamashina, senior GBV advisor).
- 4. Africa’s capacity to deal with epidemics – Strengths and potentials (Or Mor, expert in community-based development and resilience in refugee settings).
- 5. Maximizing technologies for effective mitigation and response (by our partner, Hagit Freud, Deputy Director of Pears Program for Global Innovation).
- 6. Humanitarian communications at the age of coronavirus (by Miki Noam-Alon, senior humanitarian communications advisor).
- 7. Access to information and WASH services in displacement settings (by Jose Luis Border, senior WASH advisor).
Stay tuned. Stay safe. Stay healthy. And keep moving forward!
PS: special credits and thanks to our dear friend and humanitarian colleague Natalie Silverlieb, for her supportive advice, positive attitude and for finding our blog name!
**Although Mindset-PCS will review all blog posts to make sure the ideas showcased are in line with our mandate, values and thematic priorities, the ideas will only reflect the authors’ specific points of views. **